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Red Hill Band Set to Do It Again
2017-05-17

Spring concert to feature Polka King Walt Grollerr

 

            Strike up the Band!

            The Red Hill Band's Spring Concert will take place this Sunday in the auditorium of the Upper Perkiomen High School at 2 p.m. and this year's concert will have a delightful taste of the Pennsylfawnish Dietshe (Pennsylvania-German).

            The venue, located at 2 Walt Road in Pennsburg, will come alive with the traditional sounds of the 117-year-old

popular, traditional, pulse-beating marches and warm, mellow sounds of the local musical group, and this year will add Grammy Award nominee, international performer and regional favorite Walt Groller for a medley of polkas and Austrian-German folk music.

            The 86-year-old Groller, a Lehigh Valley native, has been playing the accordion since he was 4 years old.  Picking up the Austrian folk songs his mother sang to him, and practicing for hours after his family-farm chores were done, the self-taught Groller mastered the music.

            Groller has been performing since he was 12 and formed his first group when he was 14 years old.

            After a stint in the Army from 1952-1954, he re-formed his orchestra and began doing live radio broadcasts and went on to record more than 20 albums, including many under his own Chalet label.  His performances include his own weekly TV show called "Café Internationale"

            He composed more than 100 songs, most of which were polka and waltz melodies.

            In 1988, the album "It's Polkamatic," by Groller and his orchestra, was nominated for a Grammy Award. Current Red Hill Band Director Norm Stull, a member of Groller's orchestra for more than 30 years, performed on that album.

            His polkas have been described as more German-Austrian woodwind than Polish brass style.

            Over the years, Groller toured the United States and Europe gaining a loyal following in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.  In 1990, he was presented with the Austrian Decoration of Merit in Gold, given in recognition of those who help to preserve Austria's culture.

            He received a letter of commendation from President Bill Clinton and, in 1995, received Polka News Network's "Lifetime Polka Music Award."

            Listening to him rehearse with the Red Hill Band last week, it's plain to see and hear that Walt hasn't lost any of his enthusiasm and talent for his music.  In fact, his performance defies the years as he changes from lively polkas to heart-warming waltzes.

            The members of the Red Hill Band were in fine tune, as well, as they prepared for the concert.

            Director Stull, in his second year holding the baton, said that in addition to the medley with Groller, the band will be performing a wide range of music from "Carmen to Adele."

            The concert is free and open to the public.

            After hearing the band rehearse last week, you don't want to miss this event!

            For more information visit the Red Hill Band website at www.redhillband.com.


 

 

 

 

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